Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Year's Resolution Sealed with a KISS

Recently, my daughter declaimed, "Did you know that 75% of people who make New Year's resolutions break them within three months?"

Miss M. has a knack for finding and repeating such trivia.  Kinda like that kid in Jerry Maguire who spouted, "Did you know that the human head weighs 10 pounds?"

Some might be shocked by that statistic.  No, not the one about the head.  The one about the slackers New Year's resolution people.   I'm not shocked.  I'm impressed.   Most people I know can't even remember their resolutions by about mid-February.

Personally I have a vague recollection of saying something about eating less sugar.   To be fair, I made this resolution after two(ish) glasses of Moët and a piece of carrot cake.  

Thanks to Miss. M's reminder, I now have another month to join the ranks of the party poopers more disciplined 25%.

There is a plethora of information out there about the gylcemic index as well as various formulas for banishing sweet stuff from your life. 

Apparently Dr. Oz has a 28-Day Sugar Detox Challenge and I have to say, if I was going to follow a "program," that one looks pretty good.   I'm just not up to that level of complexity right now.  I'm in more of what they call "KISS" mode. 

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid.

Once things settle down a bit, I'll go for the Oz degree in being sugar-free.  I promise when that happens, I'll share the gritty day-by-day details on my blog.  Then, watch out Xylotol -- I'll be coming to gitcha!

The first step towards any change is AWARENESS.

Of course there are lots of hidden sugars in the food we eat.  However, my current focus is on the one that is actually called sugar.   It doesn't try to hide behind a secret code name because it knows we aren't that smart yet.    Sugar especially knows we are suckers for food packages with words like "smart" or "healthy." 

Case in point is the breakfast drink my husband (aka "Big D") keeps buying because the front of the container says it has "100% of the day's essential nutrients."   Sweet!   No really, it's sweet.  Too sweet.  Twenty-six grams of sugar.   Seriously, dude?

I'll admit that I've fallen victim as well.   I once discovered that the meal bars I was buying were more like candy bars.  They could only count as a meal if you usually eat chocolate chip cookies for lunch. 

Before I found out I was allergic to yogurt, I was eating one that had 32 grams of sugar in it. 

"But yogurt is so healthy!" I cried.    Yeah, not so much.  I'd been had.

So, it comes down to reading the labels and being honest about what we're eating.  Preferably before tying on the feed bag.  Why let the food lie to us?   Why lie to ourselves?   On New Year's Eve, I'm sure my resolution statement was followed by some rationalization that I was already on the right track eating carrot cake.    I know, right? 

Anyhoo, my new personal goal is to eat less than 28 grams of sugar per day and make it count.

By "make it count" I mean to make a conscious choice to eat sugar and feel good about it.   If I want a cookie or a handful of Skittles, I eat them.  But no surprises. 

Whether it's candy, ketchup, eggplant meat(less)balls or whatever, I look at the label, read where it says the word "sugar" and how many grams per serving.  I consider the quantity I am consuming and add to the day's total.  Keepin' it simple.

Of course there are know-it-alls out there who will say stuff like, "An apple doesn't have a label but does have a lot of sugar." 

It's a freakin' apple, people. 

Maybe it's flawed oversimplification on my part, but any food which reaches my lips exactly as it came from Mother Nature is a free pass. 

When eating out, I order foods that contain ingredients I know fit within my daily goals.  There are a number of great apps and tools for getting this kind of data.  Two of my faves are MyNetDiary and FitDay.  

I'm used to food tracking (from when I lost the first 60 lbs) but if you're someone for whom such tools get outside the realm of KISS, here is an easier strategy:

Break down the meal into segments.  Then, pick a maximum of only one item in which to invest the "sacred grams."

For example, consider the following possible sugar snares:

       1. Beverage - anything which contains alcohol, juice, non-diet soda or dairy.

       2. Main Course - anything with a sauce or a glaze or anything with the word "sweet" in the recipe; also gotta watch the condiments.

       3. Dessert - seriously, I have to explain this?  It's dessert for Pete's sake.  Don't kid yourself.

Pick your one poison (as they say) and then enjoy it.

Keep it simple.  Pick your battles.  Know thine enemy.


PS: If you like what you see here, please click the "Follow" button and/or subscribe by email so I can build the forum for my book.  Thanks so much!!
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Amanda said...

Saw your Sits thread!

I'm following. Good luck with writing the book and the process of publishing! I'll be watching.

Feel free to stop by my place too!

webb said...

So good to see you back. is another good tool. It lets you track both food and exercise, after establishing a goal weight and therefore a daily calorie goal. It provides space for the individual nutrients, but I am not using that part. I figure that as long as I don't exceed the calorie total, I'm ok. And fortunately, I am not a terrible sugar addict... just a normal one!

Hope all is well with you. Been missing your insight.

Read an interesting quote a few days ago about loss... that you never get over it, you just learn to make it part of your life and move forward. I am finding that helpful and encouraging. You??

Charlene said...

Thanks so much webb - you are so sweet! It's been a challenge to work on the book AND keep writing new stuff for the blog but I'm in a good groove now. I think that statement about loss is right on. This past week was my dad's birthday. Tough one... but yes, just moving forward. Thanks again for your ongoing support!!!

Tammy said...

Funny that I read this today. I am once again trying to give up sugar. Give up. What a couple of scary words when it comes to soething as orgasmic as sugar. LOL. I like what you said though about paying attention to how much you consume. I have decided to wean off slowly but ot completely. Hopefully it will keep Mr. Migrain at a safe distance. Love your blog. I always go away with good information, not to mention a smile. Looking forward to whatever is next. :)

MsByn said...

Check out the "Eat Clean Diet" by Tosca Reno. I have a recipe and food blog about eating clean for 365 Days with my family. My sugar monster is SO tamed. I can have a 'little bit' of a treat now and not go mad craving MORE.

Also, make sure you always pair carbs and sweets with protein (or have protein first) to help limit the affect of sweets.

There is also an older book called "Potatoes, Not Prozac" that has a VERY easy to follow sugar addiction recovery plan. I used that successfully for a long time years ago. Eating clean is easier for us at this point.

Mercy said...

Sugar is "hidden" in so many things too, its tough.

Bruce Coltin said...

I'm glad to see you too.

Ashley said...

You would have to have me read this when I drank what might be a gallon of apple juice! I know what you mean, i need to look at that OZ thing, and look up Candida, my friend thinks I might have that..uhh! OK refocus Ashley. Pep talking myself in your comments, ha..
Thanks for stopping by my blog, lookin forward to getting to know you better in BLOGLAND!

Angela said...

For me the sugar comes in savory carbs like potatoes and biscuits! It's difficult to cut back on things that people are eating in your own home, or shoving in your face at the pub. So far I've had mixed results!

E.F. Seiker said...

"It's a freakin' apple". Love it!

Christina said...

I love the KISS method... And I love the "It's a freakin' apple" ...
Thanks for stopping by my site. Returning the SITS love and following through email.

caroline said...

i always love the KISS analogy in business! but OMG - you are so witty! consider me as an avid follower hereon..


Sarah said...

Can I keep my chocolates if I don't drink Coke? I never do, really. BTW, still waiting for your P90X the second round.

Ree said...

Love your blog, and thanks for visiting me today! :)

Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop! said...

Love the KISS attitude. I agree 100%. I eat what I like, but try to make reasonable choices. I like to think of myself as French or European, but I fear I just have good metabolism. ; )

Tough Cookie Mommy said...

Hi, Charlene. I love KISS and you rock too! Thanks for participating in the Monday Mingle at and for following. I love seeing you back every Monday. Make sure you enter my current giveaway. I will be choosing 3 winners to receive coupons for full sized bottles of Purex Complete Crystals Softener.

tattytiara said...

Haha - that was my reaction too: "Some people make it three shole months before quitting?"

I have to admit the sugar in my diet has never been hidden from me - I know what I'm getting when I choose wonder bread - but I am very addicted to what's there.

Jan at Jewelry4Change said...

Hello! I'm visiting on Mingle Monday and am now following you. I'm interested to hear more about your book.

Kim said...

"Maybe it's flawed oversimplification on my part, but any food which reaches my lips exactly as it came from Mother Nature is a free pass."

I LOVE this statement! Not oversimplification at all ~ totally true.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Good luck and best wishes on this awesome goal!!!

(she says while munching on a still warm choc chip cookie, lol!)

Debbie said...

I had the same thought as you on the 75% claim. I was very impressed that 25% of people make it three months. I don't make it three minutes.
And I can't imagine going off sugar. Yes, I should do it. But will I? Don't bet on it!

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